twenty-five cent word

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twenty-five cent word (plural twenty-five cent words)

  1. (Canada, US, archaic) Synonym of ten-dollar word.
    • 1950, Jack Kerouac, The Town and the City, New York: Harcourt, 1983, Chapter 11, p. 331,[1]
      The old man chuckled. “Well, you can bandy twenty-five cent words all you want, but— Say! we’ve never had a talk like this before, have we? []
    • 1988, Howard Rosenthal, Not With My Life I Don’t: Preventing Your Suicide and That of Others, Muncie, Indiana: Accelerated Development, Inc., Chapter 4, p. 18,[2]
      Some of the most incredible cases I have ever worked with involve the act of pulling strands of hair from one’s own head. Psychiatrists and psychologists have a twenty-five cent word for this behavior. They call it Trichotillomania.
    • 2015, Barbara Baig, Spellbinding Sentences, Blue Ash, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books, Section 2, Chapter 4, p. 37,[3]
      Remember that while the English language has lots of “twenty-five cent” words like perturb or effrontery, statuesque or decorous, it also has lots of essential short, sturdy words like of or but, say or stop or glow.